Cost Savings: $30-$60
If you're obsessive about how green your grass grows, or if you love to grow vegetables or flowers in the garden, then you can save significant money on fertilizer by making your own... from kitchen scraps and lawn waste.
Compost is nature's gift to gardeners. Just set aside a small patch of land for a pile, or buy a composter to speed the process, and soon you will have created rich, nutrient-rich earth from your vegetable trimmings, coffee grinds, brown leaves, grass clippings and other "waste."
The average U.S. lawn is about 8,000 square feet, and fertilizer makers recommend spreading about a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet; at roughly $2 a pound and two applications a year, you can easily spend $30 a year on lawn fertilizer alone.
When the compost is ready to use, usually after a few weeks or months after starting the process, you can either mix it into garden soil, or make compost tea, a simple slurry of compost and water that you can spread on the lawn or garden in place of fertilizer. Bonus: By improving the soil with beneficial nutrients and bacteria, and not just scorching it with extra nitrogen, you'll improve its health and make it more resistant to infestations by pests or decimation by drought.
Another bonus: If you pay for trash disposal by the bag, you'll also cut down on waste disposal costs by diverting all those food scraps into the garden.